Top 10 facts about Stonefish

Stonefish are known for being the most venomous fish in the world.

There are 5 species of stonefish and they are found close to the coastlines of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. There are also some species that are found in freshwater rivers. They are found around coral reefs and rocks and enjoy laying in the sand and in shallow waters.

Stonefish have a large population that are able to survive due to their high reproduction rates.

They vary in size depending on their species, but they usually reach between 14 to 20 inches in length and weigh in at up to 5lbs. Their bodies are covered in patches of brown, grey, red, orange or yellow skin and its texture and colour enable them to blend in well with their environments. Stonefish camouflage themselves by taking the appearance of a rock or coral and blending in with them sitting close to them at the bottom of the ocean.

Stonefish can also bury themselves in the sand by using a shovelling motion of their pectoral fins. They can shovel sand over themselves very quickly leaving only the dorsal portion of the head remaining exposed. When they feel threatened, they have the ability to raise the 13 spines which are on their dorsal fins as a defence. They also have two pelvic and three anal spines which are hidden under their skin.

Their powerful venom is produced from the gland which is found in the base of the spine and is released after pressure is put on the spine. The amount of venom that is released is proportional to the pressure that is put on the spine.

Their venom can cause severe pain, paralysis and tissue necrosis. It also has been known to lead to heart failure and anyone who has been stung will need urgent medical attention.

Stonefish are carnivores by nature and consume various types of shrimps and fish. They tend to hunt their prey using ambush and have the ability to swallow them whole. Stonefish have several predators such as large sharks like Great Whites and Bull Sharks.

They have the ability to survive up to 24 hours out of the water. Stonefish are mainly solitary creatures. But they can also be found in small groups together.

Stonefish reproduce when the female releases thousands of eggs that are then fertilised however, few will survive to hatch as they are eaten by predators. Stonefish have the ability to survive between 5-10 years in the wild.